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Billy Ryan: Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton hire another recruiter they know well

We are now in the period of the off-season of the NHL where everything is a bit calmer. Many free agents have signed a contract for 2022-23 (only Nazem Kadri remains among the top players who have not yet signed a pact) and many managers are taking a well-deserved vacation.

That said, the organizations are still at the stage of completing their hockey staff for 2022-23. And at the CH, we are no exception, while in addition to having hired Stéphane Robidas as assistant coach last week, Arpon Basu and Marc-Antoine Godin (The Athletic) report that Billy Ryan and Albie O’Connell have been hired as scouts by the Habs and will handle amateur scouting in the United States.

What is interesting, in my opinion, is above all the hiring of Billy Ryan. A former Panthers, Ryan is the main architect of the Panthers’ 2020 draft, the year in which they drafted Anton Lundell and Emil Heineman (now in Montreal) in the first two rounds of the auction.

However, according to Basu and Godin, Ryan put a lot of pressure on the Panthers in 2016 to try to force them to advance to the draft to select Charlie McAvoy. In the end, it will not have succeeded, but when you look at what McAvoy has become in the NHL, you notice that he was right.

Like every recruiter in the world, Ryan doesn’t hit for 1,000. On the other hand, many people who knew him speak of him as a hockey head who is not afraid to propose rather aggressive ideas and who is right more often than he is wrong.

And once again, the hiring of Ryan (just like that of Albie O’Connell to a lesser extent) shows that Kent Hughes and Jeff Gorton are not afraid to dip into their close guard to surround themselves well .

Ryan is an established guy in the Boston area, and by the same token, he is close to Hughes and Gorton, but also to Nick Bobrov. O’Connell is the former coach of Boston University. Clearly, the pipeline between CH and Boston is indeed real.

I’m one of those people who doesn’t see this as a bad thing. After all, if Hughes and Gorton think surrounding themselves with highly regarded hockey minds is the best way forward, they might as well go get them.

That said, speaking of hockey faces they know, I’m beginning to wonder if all this closes the door to a potential arrival of Daniel Doré in Montreal.

Doré has been linked to CH for months because of his bond of trust with Jeff Gorton. He’s been one of his sidekicks for years and clearly there’s a pretty strong bond of trust between the two men.

Some even spoke of a question of “when” rather than “if” as to Doré’s eventual arrival in Montreal.

However, Basu and Godin note in their text that with the two recent hirings, the CH amateur recruitment staff for 2022-23 would be complete in terms of full-time positions. Stéphane Leroux has also revealed that the two recruiters of the QMJHL CH have just signed contract extensions.

However, Doré worked in the amateur recruiting department in the past. He could take on a part-time role in the CH department, but he could also make the jump to professional recruitment in a full-time position.

In short, we will see if he will end up joining the CH eventually, but in any case, the amateur recruitment department seems to be a settled file at the Canadian. And in this period of reconstruction, it is possibly the most important department at the moment…

A lot of

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